Barrick Gold Corp. has accepted the Antofagasta Environmental Court’s decision to uphold the closure order and sanctions Chile’s environmental regulator imposed on Compañía Minera Nevada, the Barrick subsidiary that holds the Chilean portion (Pascua) of the Pascua-Lama project. The court said Barrick failed to implement certain measures to comply with its environmental license.

Barrick suspended construction at the project in 2013 due to environmental issues, opposition and development costs. Now, Pascua will be transitioned from care and maintenance to closure, in accordance with the Environmental Court’s decision.

Barrick said it would not appeal the decision.

Following the ruling, Barrick Executive Director for Chile and Argentina Marcelo Álvarez said Pascua-Lama remained an important project and work is already under way to re-evaluate its potential. This involves a comprehensive internal review of its technical, economic and social aspects as well as different approaches to permitting and development should the ongoing studies deliver a project that meets Barrick’s investment filters. He confirmed that any new project development would comply with current legislation in both Chile and Argentina.

“Barrick is a very different company since its merger with Randgold and we now have a strong focus on establishing good relations with the communities and authorities,” he said.

He added that Barrick is committed to investment in Chile and Argentina.

While the project was suspended, Pascua-Lama continued to treat and monitor water quality in order to meet its environmental commitments, according to Barrick. In 2014, Chile environmental officials fined Barrick $16 million over noncompliance regulatory requirements. The Environmental Court acknowledged that none of the earlier infringements that prompted the closure order had caused irreparable damage.